I wrote a short while back about an outrageous subpoena issued by a lawyer to autism blogger Kathleen Seidel (See, Abuse of Process: Blogger, Unrelated to Action, Hit With Subpoena). It was outrageous because she wasn’t a part of the suit, and the attorney that issued it requested all kinds of documents and financial information regarding her blog on autism and her views on whether autism was related to vaccines. The subpoena, if you can believe it, even demanded documents regarding her religious affiliations, “Muslim and otherwise.”
And I urged the judge to impose sanctions. As did scores of other bloggers.
So here is the update: The subpoena has not only been quashed, but attorney Clifford Shoemaker, who issued the subpoena, must now show cause why he shouldn’t be sanctioned.
I can’t wait to see Shoemaker’s response. I’d love to see his justification.
It’s worth noting that Public Citizen decided last week to represent Seidel. But the order to quash came so fast, and the PACER file shows no evidence of a filing from them, that is appears the result is from Seidel’s own work in representing herself pro se.
Update 1: Seidel was not the only one to be targeted by Shoemaker. He also went after Dr. Marie McCormick, a Harvard professor who also is not involved in the litigation.
- Quashed! (Respecful Insolence)
Extensive comments here
- Take THAT Ass-Hat (Legal Satryicon):
Law school – 3 years of your life. Time to write a really stupid subpoena – 15 minutes of your life.
Duration of the stench that sticks to you when you are the idiot who got Rule 11 PWNED by a pro-se litigant — the rest of your life.
- Judge Quashes Subpoena to Blogger Kathleen Seidel, Orders Lawyer to Explain Justification for Subpoena (Citizen Media Law Project)
Shoemaker will have a difficult time explaining why the subpoena he issued is justified, as it demands the disclosure of documents that appear to have no relevance to the Sykes litigation. Instead, it is rather obvious that the subpoena was intended to coerce a critic of his clients to “shut up.”
- Vaccines, Autism, A Blogger & Free Speech (Pharmalot)
This marks the second recent instance in which a blog has come under attack for pursuing contentious topics in which consumers are battling drugmakers.
- Quashed! (Pure Pedantry)
Mr. Shoemaker now has a little legal problem. See the tiny tear fall down my cheek.